10 Best Ways to Get Rid of Burnt Popcorn Smell in Your Microwave

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You’re sitting at home on a Saturday night, watching your favorite TV show when suddenly you start to smell something burning.

You go into the kitchen and see that it’s coming from inside of the microwave. You totally forgot about the popcorn! When you open the door, you notice how burnt those kernels of popcorn are … and maybe there’s even a little smoke too!

It’s time to get rid of this terrible burnt popcorn smell. But how do you do it? Follow the tips below to find out how!

How To Get Rid Of The Burnt Popcorn Smell Inside Of The Microwave


  1. Get Rid Of The Culprit
  2. Air Out The House
  3. Mask The Burnt Popcorn Smell
    • Vanilla
    • Candles
    • Dryer Sheets
  4. Absorb The Burnt Popcorn Smell
    • Baking Soda
    • Coffee
  5. Clean The Microwave
    • Citrus
    • Vinegar

Related Reading: How to Make Super Cute Pink Popcorn

Easy Ways To Get Rid of Burnt Popcorn Smell in your Microwave

1. Get Rid Of The Culprit

A burnt popcorn smell is very strong so just putting the popcorn in the garbage won’t get rid of the odor. Try these tips instead.

  1. Get rid of all the stinky evidence by putting the burnt popcorn in a bag, sealing it tight, and then placing it in the garbage can.
  2. If possible, take out the trash right away too.
  3. Also, air out or throw away anything that has been contaminated with burnt popcorn smell (like a potholder for example) in the vicinity of the microwave where you burned it.
  4. You may even want to change your clothes and wash your hair. The smell attaches to everything!

PRO TIP: Be very careful with the unpopped popcorn kernels from the microwave. They are extremely hot and can burn you or melt holes in the trash bag.

Ways To Get Rid of Burnt Popcorn Smell

2. Air Out The House

The quickest way to get some immediate relief from the burnt odor in the microwave is to air out the house.

  • If possible, open the windows where you burned your popcorn to air out your house faster.
  • Opening a door to the outside or another room will also help.
  • If you have an exhaust fan, turn it on to help with the process of getting rid of any burnt popcorn smell that may be lingering inside.

3. Mask The Burnt Popcorn Smell

Until you have time to steam clean the microwave, here are a few tips that will help mask the smell.


You can use vanilla to mask the smell of burnt popcorn.

  • Pour some vanilla into a small saucepan that is filled with about a 1/2 cup of water.
  • Simmer on low and enjoy as the wonderful smell of vanilla fills your home.
Ways To Get Rid of Burnt Popcorn Smell


When it comes to making your home smell nice, you can’t go wrong with a scented candle.

And since it was food that made your microwave stinky in the first place, why not try a food-scented candle to cover up the smell?

Dryer Sheets

Believe it or not, the burnt smell can even get trapped in the vents of your microwave. It usually goes away on its own after a few uses. 

But in the meantime, you can try loosely taping a dryer sheet on the vent. This is just a temporary fix and you should remove the sheet after a couple of uses.

This trick should help absorb any bad smells that are lingering from your favorite snack gone wrong.

4. Absorb The Burnt Popcorn Smell

Baking Soda

The natural power of baking soda makes it the perfect solution for removing that lingering popcorn smell.

  1. Grab a small bowl and fill the bottom with water. Mix in enough baking soda so the mixture is thick but still a little liquidy.
  2. Microwave the baking soda mixture for about 5 minutes.
  3. Leave it in the microwave for at least an hour to help neutralize the popcorn smell.
  4. For even more baking soda deodorizing power, you can leave the mixture in the microwave overnight.
Ways To Get Rid of Burnt Popcorn Smell


Coffee is a great way to take away any odors that might be lingering. Try this trick to remove the unpleasant odor and get your microwave smelling better in no time.

  1. Put some freshly ground coffee into a bowl.
  2. Mix it with about half a cup of water. Pop the coffee mixture in the smelly microwave for about 3 minutes.
  3. Allow it to sit in the microwave for a while to work its magic. You can even leave it to sit overnight.
  4. Wipe down the inside of the microwave with a damp cloth to finish the job.

5. Clean The Microwave

And the final step is to give your microwave a good cleaning. If you’re anything like me, it probably needed it anyway!

Here are a couple of powerful natural ways to rid your microwave of the burnt popcorn smell.

Lemon Citrus Remove Popcorn Odor

Citrus: Lemon or Oranges

Citrus is a powerful deodorizer and known to tackle even the strongest odors. Adding lemon or oranges to steamed water is a natural alternative to harsh chemicals and smells great too.

  1. Fill up a microwave-safe bowl with some water. Cut a lemon or orange in half. Squeeze all the juice into the bowl.
  2. Also add the lemon or orange halves (rinds and all) into the bowl. Make sure they are submerged in the water.
  3. Then microwave the whole bowl for 3-4 minutes. Keep a close eye on it so the lemon or orange rinds don’t burn. Having enough water in the bowl should prevent this.
  4. As the microwave fills with citrus-infused steam, it will work to remove the burnt popcorn smell. Keep the door closed for 15 minutes.
  5. Next, open the microwave door and use a slightly damp cloth, sponge or paper towel to wipe down the inside surfaces.


  1. Fill up a microwave-safe bowl with about a 1/2 cup of water. Add 1-2 tablespoons of white vinegar.
  2. Put the bowl inside of the microwave on high for about 5 minutes.
  3. The vinegar-infused steam will help aborb the popcorn order.
  4. After about 15 minutes, about the door. Use a paper towel, sponge or damp cloth to wipe down the inside surfaces of the microwave.

We hope you give some of these methods a try to remove the smells coming from your microwave. If you follow these tips and tricks, your microwave should be smelling fresh and clean in no time!

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Easy Ways To Get Rid of Burnt Popcorn Smell in your Microwave

Micky Reed, a two-decade veteran in the food and baking industry, leverages her influential Three Snackateers food blog and Instagram presence to collaborate with industry giants like Ben & Jerry's and Crumbl Cookies. Her work has been featured on Delish, PopSugar and more. Her expertise as a product curator for one of the world's largest international snack subscription box companies solidifies her status as a key player in the field.